A team of UN staff dealing with human rights and displacement has gone to quake-hit Haiti to assess a range of protection issues in the wake of the disaster that has left one third of the 9 million inhabitants in need of urgent assistance.
Jean Zaché Duracin, the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Haiti, and other church officials, gave a first-hand briefing about their relief and recovery priorities to two Episcopal Relief and Development workers on 22 January 2010.
Many of the Haiti earthquake disaster's worst effects – including its impact on child health and safety – are aggravated by the country's longstanding impoverishment and instability, say UNICEF representatives involved in the relief effort.
One of the DEC member NGOs, Merlin,reports that its Haiti medical team has been "working tirelessly" to meet the overwhelming needs of Haitians - and that the charity is concerned with long- as well as short-term care.
While Haitians were recovering from a 6.1 aftershock a week after the massive 7.0 earthquake that has devastated the country, news came through that the aid effort is becoming more effective, though significant problems remain.
Our tears well unexpectedly as we watch heart rending scenes of the few pulled from crumpled buildings, says Sande Ramage. But is this heavily mediated emotion thwarting honest reflection about our real responsibilities?
Acts of compassion — Haitians working together to help neighbours and strangers — is far more prevalent than the incidents of violence that are being reported on the international media, say Mennonite aid workers.
Contributions to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal have increased to £23 million so far, as the public responds with continuing generosity to the desperate need of Haiti's earthquake survivors.
The incoming Action of Churches Together International coordinator for Haiti has outlined urgent priorities for the huge relief operation she is about to lead. Elsa Moreno is due to arrive in the Dominican Republic today.